Construction crews at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) achieved another milestone this month, safely installing the final pieces of major structural steel into the plant’s Munitions Demilitarization Building (MDB) at the Blue Grass Army Depot.
The milestone represents the successful completion of a 10-year design and construction effort, as the 143,000 square-foot facility contains more than 3,650 tons of structural steel.
The MDB is the largest and most complex facility at BGCAPP with a footprint about the size of two adjacent football fields.
During plant operations, the MDB is where an automated process will remove the weapons’ energetics and chemical agents for destruction in separate processes.
A small portion of the structural steel remains to be installed to allow workers space to set more process equipment.
“Completing this work allows for more progress, as we now move forward to enclose the facility with exterior siding,” said Gil Drexel, construction manager for BGCAPP systems contractor Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass. “This accomplishment was made possible by our entire workforce that includes skilled local ironworkers from the Central Kentucky Building and Construction Trades Council.”
Design of the plant began in 2003. Since breaking ground in 2006, workers have completed the building’s concrete foundation and blast-proof rooms, and installed large neutralization process equipment.
Now that the facility’s major structural steel is also complete, work will shift to installing piping and wiring, along with specially-designed and fabricated munitions reverse assembly equipment.
“Completing major structural steel work is another example of everyone’s commitment to progress and getting the job done right,” explained Jeff Brubaker, the Army’s site project manager. “This milestone is a reflection of the entire BGCAPP team’s collaboration and rigorous support for a common mission and goal.”
Tom McKinney, Bechtel Parsons project manager, agreed. “Milestones are worthy of recognition when they are completed safely and with the highest of quality standards. From design to procurement to construction, every step is important. Designing and reviewing the steel, finding high-quality U.S. fabricators, and safely erecting the facility were all critical.”
BGCAPP is being built to safely and efficiently destroy a stockpile of 523 tons of blister and nerve agents in projectiles and rockets currently in storage at the Blue Grass Army Depot.
Currently, construction is more than 64 percent complete, systemization is more than 9 percent complete and work is progressing on a variety of facilities that will support chemical demilitarization operations.
For more information on the project, please visit the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives website at www.peoacwa.army.mil.